Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

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Prantsis
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2019-05-18, 3:20

A question about the double impersonal mark in compound tenses. That is, the (erroneous) use of ollakse (or oldi etc.) plus tud participle, instead of on + tud or ollakse + nud. To me it's sort of like saying be instead of have in English ("one is V-ed" instead of "one has V-ed"), and I find it a little strange, especially with transitive verbs. Eesti keele käsiraamat's authors even bothered to write a paragraph about the matter that clearly disapproves this use. Which let think it's probably a common 'mistake' in spoken language. (Is it?)

But I also regularly find examples of that in literature, in books by well-known writers. (Not that often, but still.)

„Ühelt poolt on lõpuks ometi saabunud oodatud mehepõlv, ollakse jõutud täismeeste ridadesse. Aga teiselt poolt […]” (K. Ristikivi)

„Just siis, kui kõik teerajad paremasse homsesse näisid kinni tuisanud olevat, lahkus meie hulgast suur kirjanik, kellele aastakümneid oldi austuse ja armastusega mõeldud. Kelle targast sõnast nii mõnelgi ajaloolisel pöördepunktil jõudu oldi ammutatud.” (M. Kivastik)

„Liiga kaua oldi selles majas juba näideldud ning liiga paljusid elusid elatud, papliõitena lendasid ruumides nendest eraldunud osakesed ja kinnitusid õhukese polstrina teatri seintele, tungisid majas liikujate kopsudesse.” (A. Kivirähk)

So I wonder, is it a mistake at all? Does it sound like one to you in the examples above? Are EKKR's grammarians too categorical somehow?

Linguaphile
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-05-18, 5:24

Prantsis wrote:A question about the double impersonal mark in compound tenses. That is, the (erroneous) use of ollakse (or oldi etc.) plus tud participle, instead of on + tud or ollakse + nud. To me it's sort of like saying be instead of have in English ("one is V-ed" instead of "one has V-ed"), and I find it a little strange, especially with transitive verbs. Eesti keele käsiraamat's authors even bothered to write a paragraph about the matter that clearly disapproves this use. Which let think it's probably a common 'mistake' in spoken language. (Is it?)

The way I understand it, you can use the tud-kesksõna with ollakse/oldi in transitive sentences when it is describing the condition of a passive subject.
Nad on üllatatud = Ollakse üllatatud
Nad oli hõivatud = Oldi hõivatud
This is just like you said above: in this type of sentence you are saying "one is [or was] V-ed" instead of "one has V-ed".

But you cannot use it with the object of an action:
Seda oli räägitud ≠ *Seda oldi räägitud.
Pakk oli viidud sinna. ≠ *Pakk oldi viidud sinna.

Or with intransitive sentences, where there is no object:
On õigeks ajaks kohale jõutud. = Ollakse õigeks ajaks kohale jõudnud. ≠ *Ollakse õigeks ajaks kohale jõutud.

Prantsis wrote:So I wonder, is it a mistake at all? Does it sound like one to you in the examples above? Are EKKR's grammarians too categorical somehow?

I rely on Eesti Keele Käsiraamat to answer my questions quite a bit, so I'm not one to say its authors are too prescriptive. I kind of count on them to be that way and don't question it. :D But for myself, if my opinion is worth anything at all, of the three types I described above I would say the first type of sentence sounds fine, the second type of sentence sounds odd to me and the third type sounds okay, even though I can understand in theory that the third type is just as incorrect as the second type.

I don't know if Ainurakne or any other native speakers are still around here, but it would be interesting to hear from them on this.

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ainurakne
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2019-05-18, 7:38

The first two tables on that page of Eesti keele käsiraamat seem sound and logical. For the third one - at first I thought: although the examples in the false-column sound a bit odd, I would probably do the same mistake too.
But then I started thinking that it's actually quite simple: if you can't convert the sentences into "nad on/olid -tud", then you can't use "ollakse/oldi -tud" either.

You can't say "nad on/olid jõutud" nor "nad on/olid harjutud". Correct are "nad on/olid jõudnud" and "nad on/olid harjunud", thus you can form "ollakse/oldi jõudnud" and "ollakse/oldi harjunud" (or alternatively "on/oli jõutud" and "on/oli harjutud").

The same principles obviously apply for the first table too, and also for the second: you can't say "Seda olid nad räägitud", "Neid torusid olid nad kasutatud vaid Lasnamäel" nor "Paki olid nad viidud sinna", thus you can't use "oldi" together with "-tud" in these sentences either.
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Prantsis
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2019-05-18, 16:04

Linguaphile wrote: But for myself, if my opinion is worth anything at all, of the three types I described above I would say the first type of sentence sounds fine, the second type of sentence sounds odd to me and the third type sounds okay, even though I can understand in theory that the third type is just as incorrect as the second type.

(For what my opinion is worth, then yes, your opinion is surely worth something...)

I wasn't really talking of the 1st type, which obviously is 100% correct. The oddest to me is the 3rd type when a transitive verb is used intransitively (or do you still call that 2nd type?), because then it can potentially be read as a 1st type.

ainurakne wrote:The first two tables on that page of Eesti keele käsiraamat seem sound and logical. For the third one - at first I thought: although the examples in the false-column sound a bit odd, I would probably do the same mistake too.

But then... are you saying that my second example sentence immediately struck you as half correct? That "oldi mõeldud" sounds natural (you could "do the same mistake too") but "jõudu oldi ammutatud" does not?


(I understand the rule, what I'm interested in is why it's not always followed by writers. Personaly, I think I would never make this mistake. And the same goes for many mistakes Eesti keele käsiraamat (which has been thought for natives) deals with: it would never have occured to me that one could make them. I make different ones.)

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-05-18, 20:18

Prantsis wrote:But then... are you saying that my second example sentence immediately struck you as half correct? That "oldi mõeldud" sounds natural (you could "do the same mistake too") but "jõudu oldi ammutatud" does not?

I know you're asking Ainurakne here, but I'm going to jump in and say it: your second example sounds just plain convoluted to me, but in such a way that I blame my own language skills rather than the author's grammatical usage. I don't usually feel the need to diagram sentences, but this one practically begs for it. :D I really have to think through what each part refers to and so on.

Just siis, kui kõik teerajad paremasse homsesse näisid kinni tuisanud olevat,
Right then, when all the paths to a better tomorrow seemed to be snowed under... [I'm assuming this is a metaphor?]

lahkus meie hulgast suur kirjanik,
...a great writer left us...

kellele aastakümneid oldi austuse ja armastusega mõeldud.
I assume here they mean who for decades had been thought of with esteem/respect and love, but when I try to sort out the relationships between words, the grammar just eludes me.
    ...kellele (who-allative) aastakümneid (decades-partitive) oldi (be passive-past-indicative) austuse (esteem/honor/great respect genitive-for-comitative) ja (and) armastusega (love-comitative) mõeldud (think passive-perfect-participle)
Since it is part of the same sentence as the line above, I keep wanting to make kirjanik the subject here, like the first type of sentences, but of course that's not what's happening. I guess :?: this is because of the point you're asking about; with oldi mõeldud there should be a subject like that, and there isn't one here.

Kelle targast sõnast nii mõnelgi ajaloolisel pöördepunktil jõudu oldi ammutatud.
From whose wise word(s) at such a historical turning point strength had been obtained :?:
    ...kelle (who-genitive targast wise-elative sõnast word-elative nii so mõnelgi some-adessive-emphatic ajaloolisel historic-adessive pöördepunktil turning-point adessive jõudu strength/force oldi be passive-past-indicative ammutatud get/obtain/scoop/quarry passive-perfect-participle
It ends up sounding to me like a sentence fragment, like it should be attached to the previous sentence, or should start with a passive subject of some sort (like Ta oli kirjanik, kelle....) Basically, the same issue as the previous part. I don't know. This type of construction is beyond my productive ability, so who am I to judge? :D I can say only that I can convince myself I understand the intended meaning, even though it strikes me as an either erroneous or complex construction.

Prantsis wrote:Personaly, I think I would never make this mistake. And the same goes for many mistakes Eesti keele käsiraamat (which has been thought for natives) deals with: it would never have occured to me that one could make them. I make different ones.)

I think that's nearly always the case with native versus non-native speakers in any language: we do make different mistakes. Along with all the mistakes non-native speakers make that native speakers never would, there are always a few things that are the other way around: things that non-native speakers learn correctly from the beginning which native speakers struggle with, because non-native speakers are exposed to them through grammatical rules from the beginning, while native speakers are exposed to them first through making their own generalizations as children, and internalize those generalization or misconceptions before learning the rules. I suppose that also has a lot to do with why languages change over time: if enough people have internalized features that don't follow the rules, and use those features, eventually they will become the new rules.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2019-05-18, 20:45

As far as I can understand your English translation, I think you understood the sentence correctly, except for "nii mõnelgi ajaloolisel pöördepunktil" that has a plural meaning, something like "at more than one historical turning point/at many historical turning points".

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Naava » 2019-05-18, 20:56

Meanwhile, I was really confused why you think this is a mistake you'd never do because no matter how many times I read the sentences, I couldn't see any mistake at all! :lol: I even tried to translate the words one by one but it still sounded ok to me...

But after reading Linguaphile's analysis, I started to think it might be the same thing we have in Finnish: it's called double passive here, and just like in Estonian, we're taught it's wrong in written language. I know it's a bit offtopic but IMO it's interesting it's something people do in both languages. :hmm:

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2019-05-18, 21:55

Prantsis wrote:As far as I can understand your English translation, I think you understood the sentence correctly, except for "nii mõnelgi ajaloolisel pöördepunktil" that has a plural meaning, something like "at more than one historical turning point/at many historical turning points".

At quite a few historical turning points :waytogo:
nii mõnigi = quite a few
For some reason I just got stuck on envisioning that passage to be referring to some particular historical turning point at which this great author (whoever is being referred to) departed or passed away. It's making me wonder who this tarkade sõnadega kirjanik is, actually.

Naava wrote:But after reading Linguaphile's analysis, I started to think it might be the same thing we have in Finnish: it's called double passive here, and just like in Estonian, we're taught it's wrong in written language. I know it's a bit offtopic but IMO it's interesting it's something people do in both languages. :hmm:

It's a double passive in Estonian too. I suspect it's similar to the concept of double negatives in English... it's something people sometimes do in spoken language, and sometimes even in writing, but it's not technically correct. Except that double negatives tend to have a reputation for sounding not just "grammatically incorrect" but even uneducated in English, and that seems to not be the case, or at least not so much the case, with these double passives.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2019-05-19, 0:02

Naava wrote:But after reading Linguaphile's analysis, I started to think it might be the same thing we have in Finnish: it's called double passive here, and just like in Estonian, we're taught it's wrong in written language.

Thanks for posting that, it seems to be exactly the same thing. The parallel Lingaphile draws with double negatives is interesting too, I hadn't thought of it that way.

Linguaphile wrote:It's making me wonder who this tarkade sõnadega kirjanik is, actually.

Eedi V, fictional character based on Eduard Vilde.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2019-05-19, 13:47

Prantsis wrote:But then... are you saying that my second example sentence immediately struck you as half correct? That "oldi mõeldud" sounds natural (you could "do the same mistake too") but "jõudu oldi ammutatud" does not?
If you hadn't underlined any words, I would probably hadn't noticed anything.
But since you did and since by now I have read these examples over and over, the first one indeed sounds more natural than the second. But I'm not sure about the reason. It could be because the words are farther apart in the first one, or it could be any number of things.

When trying out the example phrases in various sentences with various combinations and sequences of words, then some times oldi mõeldud and oldi ammutatud sound okay, but other times they sound wrong. But I can't put a finger on what exactly causes this, except that it must be gut feeling.

Linguaphile wrote:I think that's nearly always the case with native versus non-native speakers in any language: we do make different mistakes. Along with all the mistakes non-native speakers make that native speakers never would, there are always a few things that are the other way around: things that non-native speakers learn correctly from the beginning which native speakers struggle with, because non-native speakers are exposed to them through grammatical rules from the beginning, while native speakers are exposed to them first through making their own generalizations as children, and internalize those generalization or misconceptions before learning the rules. I suppose that also has a lot to do with why languages change over time: if enough people have internalized features that don't follow the rules, and use those features, eventually they will become the new rules.
Yes, except we may never learn most of the rules. I have never read Eesti keele käsiraamat from start to finish nor have I ever had to. In school we maybe only explicitly learned a fraction of all the rules that are written there, basing our skills on experience and gut feeling mostly. Which means that if our experience is based on wrong usage of language, we naturally make the same mistakes too.
Eesti keel (et) native, English (en) I can manage, Suomi (fi) trying to learn, Pусский (ru)&Deutsch (de) unfortunately, slowly fading away

Prantsis
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2019-05-19, 18:12

ainurakne wrote:But I can't put a finger on what exactly causes this, except that it must be gut feeling.

So I guess I'll just keep reading and listening, until my guts feel what's to be felt. :)


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